WCSX Classic Cuts
The Hook: Who knew so many people would relate to it?
Album: Music From Big Pink
Writer: Robbie Robertson, although the late Levon Helm claimed the entire group contributed to the music and lyrics.
Stats: It peaked at number-63 on the Billboard Hot 100 but spawned numerous cover versions at the time. Aretha Franklin’s, with Duane Allman on guitar, was the biggest, reaching number-19 pop and number-three on the soul chart. It was also done by Jackie DeShannon, The Supremes and The Temptations and The Staple Singers.
Background: “The Weight” is unquestionably Robbie Robertson’s most successful and popular song. He tells us he never imagined so many people would find something to relate to in it.
Robbie Robertson of The Band on reactions to “The Weight.” OC:…Pops Staples. :28
“Much to my surprise, a lot of people connected to the song that I would have never imagined. All these people were recording this song, like one after the other. It seemed like every week they were sending me a new cover of this song. And I thought, ‘This is completely baffling that people would relate to it in this way.’ And the only person that ever said to me, ‘What the hell does this song mean?’ was Pops Staples.”